Interview

Roman Polkovnikov: Spartacus and Peer Gynt are my everything

July 01, 2017

Tuesday, 4th July the title role of Grigorovichs Spartacus will be performed by a dancer deeply loved by the Novosibirsk audience Roman Polkovnikov. In addition to that, he has a whole streak of lead parts in La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

- Roman, you will have to come to the stage for several times till the end of the season. How do you survive this workload?

- There is really a lot of work in this season, but its only for the best.

- How do you manage to handle the physical and psychological pressure of such multiplicity of characters?

- Physical pressure is a matter of discipline; in this case you must understand its a job you need to do. And I can admit its not that hard for me to switch characters. However, I must say that its a bit harder for me to perform princes and counts: I grew up in Kemerovo, where I was playing football in the backyard of an apartment building. Consequently, Spartacus and Peer Gynt are my everything. They require showing real human dignity and courage, not some exclusiveness.

- Then a question appears: how did a simple boy from a backyard end up in ballet?

- Thats just a turn of events. My father was a military man, we used to move around the country a lot. But we got back to Kemerovo we found an Art School 26 next to our place, and they taught painting, singing and dancing. Once, one of the tutors offered my parents to practice with me individually. They agreed of course, just to keep me off the street. Later, that tutor proposed to enter the Novosibirsk choreographic school, saying that I have potential, and my father stuck to that thought. This way I entered it, not without a particular effort.

- Your work surely takes a lot of energy and time. What do you do apart from dancing?

- To tell the truth I love football. I dont just watch the games, sometimes I let myself play carefully with my friends. Ive loved football since I was a child, that may be a source of my stamina I used to kick the ball all day long.

- One of your most significant parts is Spartacus in Grigorovichs ballet; how long have you been dancing it?

- Ive been dancing it since 2007. So, its ten years now, and I must admit that my Spartacus changes with me, as I get new experience and awareness. Spartacus is a masterpiece, where all things are on their exact places both Khachaturyans music and Grigorovichs choreography. The stars are aligned, and the production came out to be absolute masterpiece, which is impossible not to love or to appreciate. If a man loves what he does, the audience wont notice the sweat, the effort, only the energy coming from the stage. Spartacus is, perhaps, the biggest and the most important exam for each strong male dancer, its like crimson beret a sign that you are no longer afraid of anything. But as long as its a very masculine ballet, it contains a lot of pure uncovered lyricism.

- Have you ever worked with Yury Grigorovich?

- No, unfortunately. I started to master Spartacus with Vladimir Nikolaevich Ryabov, one of the first performers of this part, who prepared the premier with Yury Grigorovich. At that time I didnt get a lot of things and I was surprised when he told me that even the look of the protagonist eyes must be special. He was the one who showed me the most important features for this part.

The next Spartacus performance with Roman Polkovnikov will be held on 4th July. Tickets are available on the website and at the theatre box office.